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The Economic Impact of Uncertainty About
U.S. Regulations of the Energy Sector

by Xiaohan Ma (TTU) and Zhoudan Xie (GWU)

Presented at

The Society for Economic Measurement (SEM)
2022 Annual Conference

August 11-14, 2022

University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, Canada


U.S. regulations of oil and gas operations have existed for over a century in various forms. In this paper, we conduct a machine-learning textual analysis of more than 500,000 news articles related to energy regulation uncertainty that were published in seven leading U.S. newspapers from January 1985 to December 2021. We then estimate a structural VAR model with the constructed regulation uncertainty index, energy sector variables, as well as nationwide and state level macroeconomic indicators. Based on the empirical results, we provide new insights into the economic impact of uncertainty about U.S. regulations of the energy sector.

(paper in progress)


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